Australian Stock Market Report – Afternoon September 3, 2014

By @ibtimesau on
New York Stock Exchange
Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange shortly after the opening bell in New York July 14, 2014. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS SOCIETY)

Early gains fade for local stocks

 The early progress evident in the market this morning had been stymied by lunchtime and the balance of power had swung back to the sellers. The reversal of fortunes reflects the gains seen in the market over the course of the last 24 hours where the ASX 200 has gained about 1 per cent since the low s of the previous day. One of the factors supporting Asian markets as a whole over the afternoon was the improvement in S&P 500 futures over the course of the afternoon.

 In stock news was in short supply over the session, directors of ladies wear retailer Noni B have recommended that shareholders accept a 51¢-a-share cash offer from a private investment business Alceon Group. The offer values the company at $16.4 million and is conditional on Alceaon acquiring 90 per cent of Non in addition to sales targets being met. Noni B shares ended the session up 3 cents at 48 cents. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank (BEN) intends raising $200 million through an issue of hybrid securities to investors. The bank will issue new convertible preference shares priced at $100 each. If certain conditions are met, the bank will could either convert them into ordinary shares, redeem or resell them in November 2020. BEN shares ended with a gain at $12.81 a gain of 20 cents or 1.6 per cent.

 Coles confirmed the culling of more than 400 jobs from its Melbourne head office in a cost-cutting exercise. The supermarket operator will cut 378 permanent jobs and 60 contractors from its Tooronga-based Store Support Centre. Management highlighted that 160 people could be redeployed across the business with Coles opening 14 new stores across Victoria in the next three years. WES shares ended with a 7 cent gain to $43.80

 RBA Governor Stevens delivered a speech in Adelaide titled "The Economic Scene". Mr Stevens gave voice to familiar themes that had been well covered in the RBA's recent Statement on Monetary and other speaking turns that had been made in the last week. There was little of note in the Q&A, although the Governor dodged questions about what he would need to see to drop the "period of stability" phrasing which has been the central feature of the RBA's recent communications. The Governor all but ruled out any further rate cuts. His comment that in trying to

reduce unemployment by "further inflating an alreadyelevated level of house prices seem an unwise route"

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